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W. Rockwell Wirtz, An Individual and Wirtz Beverage v. Patrick Quinn

January 26, 2011

W. ROCKWELL WIRTZ, AN INDIVIDUAL AND WIRTZ BEVERAGE ILLINOIS, LLC, AN ILLINOIS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ON BEHALF OF AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE TAXPAYERS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
PATRICK QUINN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; DANIEL W. HYNES, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COMPTROLLER OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; ALEXI GIANNOULIAS, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS TREASURER OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE; BRIAN HAMER, DIRECTOR OF REVENUE; THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD; AARON JAFFE, CHARLES GARDNER, EUGENE WINKLER, JOE MOORE, JR., AND JAMES E. SULLIVAN, AS MEMBERS OF THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD; THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY; AND JODIE WINNETT, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE LOTTERY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Lawrence O'Gara,Presiding Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Quinn

PRESIDING JUSTICE QUINN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Neville and Steele concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Plaintiffs, W. Rockwell Wirtz and Wirtz Beverage Illinois, LLC, on behalf of all taxpayers situated in the State of Illinois, brought this suit pursuant to section 11-303 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/11-303 (West 2008)), seeking to enjoin the disbursement of public funds by the defendant public officials in connection with the "Capital Projects Acts," four pieces of legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Patrick Quinn on July 13, 2009. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the Capital Projects Acts, three substantive bills and one appropriation bill (now Public Acts 96-34, 96-35, 96-37 and 96-38), violated provisions of the Illinois Constitution, including the single subject rule, the uniformity clause, the requirement that an appropriation bill be confined to the subject of appropriation, the requirement that public funds be used only for public purposes and the requirements of separation of powers and effective date of laws. The circuit court denied plaintiffs leave to file their complaint and plaintiffs' motion to reconsider. Plaintiffs now appeal. For the following reasons, we find that Public Act 96-34 was enacted in violation of the single subject requirement of our state constitution and, therefore, Public Act 96-34 is void in its entirety and because Public Acts 96-35, 96-37 and 96-38 are contingent on the enactment of Public Act 96-34, these public acts cannot stand.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs' complaint challenged the constitutionality of Public Acts 96-34, 96-35, 96-37 and 96-38.

A. Public Act 96-34

Public Act 96-34 is titled "AN ACT concerning revenue." Article 5 of Public Act 96-34 creates the Video Gaming Act, which allows licensed retail establishments where alcoholic liquor is served for consumption, licensed fraternal establishments, and licensed veterans establishments and truck stops to conduct video gaming. Public Act 96-34 also amends the Riverboat Gambling Act to provide for administration and enforcement of video gaming by the Illinois Gaming Board. The bill also amends the Illinois Criminal Code to provide that gaming under the Video Gaming Act is not illegal gambling under Illinois law.

Public Act 96-34, article 800, creates the Capital Spending Accountability Law, which requires the Governor's Office of Management and Budget to make reports each quarter on the State's capital projects. Section 905 of Public Act 96-34 amends the State Finance Act to: (1) create the Capital Projects Fund and require transfers to the General Revenue Fund and that the Capital Projects Fund be used for capital projects and debt service; (2) create the Local Government Video Gaming Distributive Fund; and (3) stop all diversions from the Road Fund to the Secretary of State and State Police.

Public Act 96-34, section 910 and 925, also amends the Use Tax Act and Retailers' Occupation Tax Act to provide that candy, certain beverages, and grooming and hygiene products are taxed at the 6.25% rate (instead of the 1% rate) and to require deposit of the increased revenue into the Capital Projects Fund. Section 900 amends the Illinois Lottery Law to allow the Department of Revenue to conduct the Lottery through a management agreement with a private manager and to authorize a pilot program to allow the purchase of Illinois Lottery tickets on the Internet. Section 935 amends the University of Illinois Act to require the University to conduct a study on the effect on Illinois families of members of the family purchasing Illinois Lottery tickets and to report its findings.

Section 945 of Public Act 96-34 amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934 to increase the tax on wine, beer, and alcohol and spirits. Section 955 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to increase various fees and fines and to make changes concerning truck load and weight restrictions.

B. The FY2010 Budget Implementation Act (Public Act 96-37)

Public Act 96-37 creates the FY2010 Budget Implementation (Capital) Act (the BIMP) and is titled "AN ACT concerning government." Contingent upon Public Act 96-34 becoming law, the BIMP amends the provisions in Public Act 96-34 including those pertaining to the private manager for the lottery and to the central communications system for the video gaming program. The BIMP adds a new section 85 to the Video Gaming Act, making its provisions severable pursuant to section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes (5 ILCS 70/1.31 (West 2008)).

Also contingent upon Public Act 96-34 becoming law, the BIMP clarifies that, while the proceeds of the new liquor tax are to be deposited into the Capitol Projects Fund, the existing liquor tax amounts are to be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. The BIMP also makes the additional tax severable under section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.

The BIMP contains other provisions, including: a provision that amends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act to provide for the certification of a pilot river-edge redevelopment zone in Elgin in 2009; a provision amending the Vehicle Code to mandate a financial disclosure in rental car contracts for consumers; provisions creating an urban weatherization program; provisions adding Gaming Board peace officers; and provisions authorizing the Capital Development Board to provide grants to fund capital projects to improve or renovate a hospital's facility or to improve, replace, or acquire equipment or technology.

C. The Trailer Bill (Public Act 96-38)

Public Act 96-38 (the Trailer Bill) is titled "AN ACT concerning government," and is a trailer bill to Public Act 96-34. The Trailer Bill amends certain provisions of Public Act 96-34, if and only if Public Act 96-34 becomes law. Contingent upon Public Act 96-34 becoming law, the Trailer Bill changes the effective date for the increase in taxes on candy, certain beverages, and grooming and hygiene products to September 1, 2009 (rather than August 1, 2009). Contingent upon Public Act 96-34 becoming law, the Trailer Bill amends the Video Gaming Act by: (1) making changes concerning the residency requirements for licensing; (2) clarifying that the 50% split of the after-tax profits from a video ...


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